Tuesday, 29 June 2021 14:09

June CIECAST Explores Future of AI in the Collision Repair Industry

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Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t just a vision for the future---it’s here now, and as it becomes more prevalent in the collision repair industry, auto body shops need to prepare to navigate its integration into various technologies, or risk being left behind.

During the June CIECAST, “The Future of AI in the Collision Industry,” Driaan du Toit, vice president of business development at Solera, and Evan Davies, Solera’s chief technology officer, shared insights on the ways AI is currently used in the collision repair industry, as well as its future uses.


“We all know the world has changed significantly over the past few years, and so have the vehicle and collision industries," du Toit began. "Innovation is rapid, and consumer needs are requiring and driving rapid changes, including automation in the repair and claims processes.”


The COVID-19 pandemic impacted collision repair, even as the industry’s dynamic has been altered by increased vehicle complexity, including ADAS, autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles. All these changes require body shops to have differently qualified staff and calibration equipment and capabilities, du Toit noted.


“Body shops and insurers must ensure accurate and safe repairs, according to standards, and these repairs, procedures and standards are increasing as equipment becomes more complex on a day-to-day basis,” he said.


Technological advances create a collision repair industry ripe for AI, du Toit believes. The digital experience is convenient and fast for policyholders, resulting in predictable outcomes. For insurers, AI-assisted decisions aid with early determination of severity and accurate, consistent assessments, while shops using AI-assisted tasks increase billable hours and deliver better customer service.


“Differentiation is key to survival for body shops,” du Toit said.


Consumers are ready to adopt AI in the claims process. According to research conducted by Coleman Parks and commissioned by Solera, 72% of consumers desire a fully automated AI claims and repair experience, while 83% would trust automotive claims driven by AI. More than three-quarters of consumers would favor body shops offering more digital channels to quote, book and track repairs.


“The consumer demand is relentless […] Automated and digitized workflows is no longer a wish for the consumer of the industry, but reality and actively being utilized today," du Toit said. "And this data is...

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